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The people who need services most are often the people who find them hardest to access.
People may not have a choice when using an online services, so it’s important they work for everyone.
Why it's important
- Explore the impact and benefits for everyone. Watch the web accessibility perspectives video series from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
Think about digital access from the start
But good accessibility practices don’t just apply to older Australians or people with a permanent, temporary and situational disability:
- 28% of Australians live in regional and remote areas
- 26% of people living in Australia are born overseas
- 46% of Australian adults had low literacy skills
Different needs, different times
All of us will have different needs at different times and in different circumstances, for example:
- a person with vision impairment who requires a screen reader to navigate or contribute to a web page
- older people with changing abilities due to ageing
- users of mobile devices
- people with “temporary disability” such as a broken arm or lost glasses
- people using a slow internet connection
- people using limited or expensive bandwidth or live in regional areas
- people using older internet devices that may not be running the latest software versions
- people whose first language isn't English
- people in a situational crisis - for example: needing emergency support
We benefit everyone by ensuring online services meet standards set under the Web Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
Thinking about this from the beginning will help you:
- make sure that no one is excluded
- increase the visibility of your online content
- find out earlier if any parts of your service aren’t accessible - problems cost a lot less to fix if you find them early
Experience the web as a person with a permanent, temporary and situational disability. The following tools provide a great introduction:
- NoCoffee Vision Simulator (Chrome extension)
- Metamatrix Web Disability Simulator (Chrome extension)
- Funkify Disability Simulator (Chrome extension)
- How people with disabilities use the web (World Wide Web Consortium - W3C) explains the barriers some users face due to poor design.
- Interviews with people with disability (GOV.UK)
- Barriers users face when accessing digital services (GOV.UK)
Last update: 21 August 2019, editorial review.